With each year that passes, times feel more hectic than ever.
Despite all the benefits of the modern internet era—instant access to free information, the ability to create and share content, etc.—these technological achievements are a double-edged sword.
Modern conveniences create modern distractions.
And for every informative video on YouTube, there are five more dedicated to snakes biting people in the face.
Now admittedly, these videos are hilarious—our hearts aren’t made of stone, people—but if you’re trying to be productive in 2020, you’ll need to know how to avoid these kinds of rabbit holes.
To help you keep your focus and get things done, here are four quick and easy ways to increase productivity in 2020.
1. Break It All the Way Down
Have you ever had an enormous task sitting in front of you, but your head started spinning because you had no clue where to even start? If we’re being honest with ourselves, any task can start to feel overwhelming, especially if you’re looking at the BIG picture.
People tend to procrastinate and stress out about things that need to be done because it comes off as something daunting that’ll take forever. That’s why it’s helpful to break your projects down into smaller tasks––where “chunking” comes into play.
You can break down any task or project no matter what the capacity. This allows you to work with less stress, more direction, and most of all is proven to increase productivity. Who doesn’t need more productivity in 2020?
Sound like something that could help you be more productive?
Here are the steps to follow:
- Think about the project in its entirety. What all needs to be done? Write down every step.
- Now, look at those steps and see which ones have the highest priority?
- The previous step supplied you with a logical working order. In other words, you’ll be able to delegate tasks properly in a way that enhances your overall productivity.
- The next step is formulating a timeline. How long will it take to execute each step?
- Once you know about how long each step will take, you should be able to set a deadline––an overall plan of how long you expect to complete all parts.
- Once you have completed all the individual tasks that make up the larger project, take time to review your work.
You’ll notice that your productivity will soar when you start breaking up tasks into smaller chunks. You won’t feel overwhelmed, stressed, or even confused about where to start or how you’ll be able to finish.
If you feel like you could still use a bit more of a push regarding productivity, check out “Eat That Frog” by author Brian Tracy. The message goes hand in hand with the chunking process.
One of the book’s main takeaways is that you will be more productive with a to-do list. Additionally, did you know that some of the most successful business minds in the world create daily to-do lists?
2. Set a Time Limit and a Deadline
So, let’s say you’ve broken your HUGE task down––chunked it, right? You’ve made your plan, and you’ve set sail into those plans, but you keep running into things that block your productivity.
Sometimes, we’re our own worst enemy when it comes to blocking progress and success. Some of us get too hung up on perfectionism, and others might just get sidetracked still.
At the end of the day, if you don’t have a hard time limit or deadline set, all of your planning and “chunking” will be in vain. If you run into problems with procrastination, no matter what you do, here are some ways to bypass it.
One of the main things that you can do that will enable you to work more efficiently is being organized and knowing how to avoid distractions during those times you’ve scheduled and set aside to get your work done.
3. Eat Well and Get Enough Sleep
It probably comes as no surprise that sleep and productivity go hand in hand. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re not going to be functioning at the highest level you could be. This could translate into lackluster results, and if that happens––what’s the point?
That’s why a proper diet and adequate sleep are vital elements that go into productivity. Look at it like this: have you noticed how much more productive and responsive your brain and overall body is when you’ve had a good night’s rest?
Think about those times that you partied too hard, or maybe your sleep schedule just got thrown off––your body was probably very slow to respond. You most likely spent more time than you’d like to admit staring at your computer screen. Overall, your brain functions better with proper sleep and nutrients.
4. Just Start
As we mentioned earlier, starting is the hardest part sometimes. You have this fantastic idea, but the project or task has so many moving parts that you’re a tiny bit overwhelmed. The best approach to this is––just start!
The great thing about “just starting” is that you’re not overthinking it, you’re just going with the flow, and sometimes, that’s all you need to get out of your head. It’s kind of like going to the gym. You don’t want to go, let’s face it, you never want to go, but you still do. You might start slow, a little sluggish, but before you know it, you’ve found your momentum, and you’re killing it!
We’ve all struggled with productivity at some point in our lives. With so much going on in our world, so much information (good and bad) at our fingertips, and so many external factors that cloud our facilities, it’s surprising that we’re able to get anything done!
However, we’re able to get through things because we learn from our mistakes and our experiences. We’re able to see that x, y, or z isn’t working for us or isn’t compatible with our work style in order to get things done.
These four steps will help you boost your productivity by implementing organizational skills, eliminating distractions, and creating plans and deadlines that enhance the overall success of whatever project you have on your plate.
So, access your workload, make a plan, and just go for it––you’ve got this!